Worship & Activities

What do I have to do to join in one of the activities of the church?
Just come and join in! If you would like to talk with the persons organizing the function first to see how you might fit in, by all means do that too. You will be welcomed!

What is required of me as member of the church?
When you join the congregation, you vow that you will support the church by your prayers, presence, gifts and service and that is what is expected. But what is important is the mission of church – to make disciples of Jesus the Christ. As a member of the church, we anticipate that you will live and grow in your faith as you participate in and support the ministries and activities of our congregation.

Are non-members welcome in our activities and studies?
Absolutely yes! Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus. We do that by helping members to move ahead in their faith journey and by inviting others to come and see and join in our worship and activities. We often have non-members as part of our studies and activities!

Why do we have communion every Sunday at the second service?
In the early church, communion was celebrated every time the congregation met. Our liturgy says that we should partake often. The United Methodist Church has asked the local church to reclaim the practice of communion each Sunday. In order to provide a choice for those who prefer not to commune each week, the first service only celebrates communion on the first Sunday of the month. If you would like to better understand the history of communion and the celebration itself, ask Pastor Marty.

Why don’t we have choir or children’s message/church at the early service?
In order to complete the service in less than an hour, we decided to save the time by omitting the anthem and children’s message.

What is a Taize worship service and why do we have one?
A Taize worship service is a contemplative type service that is characterized by readings, singing, and prayer. The tone of the service is quiet and reverent and the lighting is typically dimmer. The service offers an alternative form of worship that can help us find a meditative time of quiet in which to focus on and experience God in our midst. We try to have a Taize service every quarter. This service usually lasts about 45 minutes.

Why isn’t the US Flag displayed in the sanctuary?
It is not that we do not value the freedoms of our country that are expressed by the display of the flag. To the contrary we fully understand that the freedoms of our country allow us to pick the place and style of worship that we will enjoy. But as we enter the sanctuary, we leave the world behind including thoughts of our country and we focus on God and what God means to us. Therefore, to keep the focus on God we do not have symbols other than those relating to God and his love for us in our sanctuary. And we proudly display the flag in our social hall where our faith is lived out among the congregation and with many other groups who use our facilities.

Are the Upper Room and Our Daily Bread devotionals free?
Yes, they are provided for our members free of charge and are available on the rack on the wall of the narthex as you enter the sanctuary. Feel free to take one.

How do I obtain a DVD copy of our weekly Sunday worship service?
Each week we record the 10:30 worship service and we record special events and worship services as well. DVD’s of the services are available without charge. Simply check in the sign-up book in the Narthex of the church for the DVD section, provide your name and contact number, the date of the service you wish to have a copy of, and the number of copies you would like. Then check back in your mail cubbie at the church for your DVD. Copies are usually provided within one week of any request.

Children

Can my child come to worship with me?
By all means yes! Children are welcome in worship and are not required to go to the nursery or children’s church. However, we do hope that parents will take advantage of the nursery and children’s church depending on the needs of their children. The nursery is provided so that parents can worship without distraction and know that their children are being cared for. Children’s Church is provided to help children with a longer attention span learn the rhythms of worship so that they might benefit from worship.

Why do we have the policy that children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult when they leave the sanctuary or come to events at church?
It is a part of our child protection policy and this policy assures the safety of our children and youth. When the children leave worship by themselves they could be abducted by a stranger before we would ever know they are gone. That likelihood one of our children would be abducted is not great but our policy insures that the likelihood is even less. The problem is we do not lock our doors during worship and churches are known to be trusting places, so predators sometimes target churches.

What is the difference between the nursery and Children’s Church?
The nursery is for infants to pre-K children who need constant supervision and care. Children’s church is designed to help children understand church and is for older children with the attention span to begin to understand and to participate without constant supervision.

Facilities

Who can have a key to the facilities?
Any member may have a key to our church facilities. Just ask one of the trustees.

Where do I find a key to the playground?
The key to the playground is hanging on the upper right side of the door frame as you go out the door from the restrooms toward the playground. If you use the key to open the lock, please replace it right after you open the lock so that we do not lose the key. Also please make sure that you lock the playground when you are finished using it.

Who can use the playground?
Anyone under the supervision of a member of the church may use the playground. An adult member must be present and is responsible for the playground when it is in use.

Why is the playground locked?
Our insurance requires that we limit access to the playground because we are liable for its use. It is what it termed “an attractive nuisance” in insurance terms. Thus, we have a fence to discourage people from entering without permission and a lock to demonstrate that public access is not allowed.

Why are some classes and activities held in the parsonage?
When we built our new building, we knew that we would not have sufficient room to expand our ministries so we planned on using the parsonage. Since we knew we had no more usable land to build new facilities, part of our vision for the future was to use the parsonage for ministry.

How can I donate furniture or property to the church?
If you have furniture and equipment that you would like to donate, contact the Trustees to make sure the donations are something that the church needs. Please do not drop things off in hopes that they will be used.

Why don’t we pay to have someone mow the lawn and tend the landscape?
It would be easier to do that, but we choose to instill ownership in our church by doing the work ourselves. Besides, nobody cares for something that belongs to someone else the way people who own it do. Come join in and help out.

May I use the social hall for a family gathering?
Yes, if it is not already scheduled, members may use the facilities. However, you must first get approval of the trustees. There is a use policy in place by which you must agree to abide.

Do you have collections for recycling ink cartridges, old cell phones, aluminum tabs, and eyeglasses?
We collect these items at the Cubby Station in our Fellowship Hall (our inter-church mailboxes).  Labeled containers are available to drop off any of the items listed above.  By recycling printer ink cartridges and old cell phones, we have earned thousands of dollars through the recycled ink cartridges. Our inkjet printer cartridge recycling began in December 2001. With the help of Planet Green and our members we have recycled thousands of printer cartridges and have raised thousands of dollars for Bethel. By working together we are indeed making a difference in our environment and community.  We collect aluminum tabs for the following reasons: the tabs are pure aluminum and as such are valuable and earn money for charitable organizations. For example, the Ronald McDonald House in Houston, TX, collects the tabs and sells them for about $8,000 per year. We send tabs each year to the Ronald McDonald House. To save the cost of postage, we occasionally hand deliver tabs for a donation to the National Kidney Foundation. This is sponsored by the Missions Committee.